It occurred to me today that when I’m anxious about something, I sew. I sew when I’m happy too, but my stressy sewing is all about new patterns and the trickier makes. Stuff just for me. I think it’s because I have to concentrate harder, therefore pushing everything else out of my brain. That’s my theory anyway.
I’ve been doing a lot of this lately. BTW things are fine, we’ve just had to make some pretty big decisions and there’s a bit of upheaval. Coming to the end of it now. So anyway, last weekend I was down staying with some of my beautiful friends in Melbourne and this beautiful friend has quite the pattern stash. Quite the vintage pattern stash. It pretty much brought tears to my eyes. So I pinched a couple of the patterns to trace off and make. One of them was this gem:
Version 1 with sleeves. It had to be done. If you’ve ever looked at vintage patterns before (this one is from 1964) you will know they only contain the one size, listed as bust size, rather than the nested patterns today. Bigger sizes are like hens teeth. A bust of 37 inches is still 5 inches smaller than mine at 42. But in my experience, vintage patterns love the hell out of their ease, so I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to grade this up much at all to fit me. And guess what? I was right.
I compared the bodice pattern pieces to my beloved McCalls 6696 and there was only 1.5cm difference, so I added that to the vintage pattern. Sorted. This one has a simple collar (no stand) and facing.
Technically, this is a toile – a practice version of the pattern. Some people will make their toiles (or muslins) from calico, old sheets or some other cheapish fabric. Because then if it doesn’t fit, you haven’t wasted your good fabric. I tend to make my muslins from fabric in my stash that I’m not super attached to. That way if they do work, they are still wearable. That’s what I’ve done here. But while the dress fits and it’s a cool print, I’ve decided that the shape of the skirt is really not me. I’m going to make it again with a much fuller skirt.
For that reason, I’ve decided to give this one away, rather than let it sit in my cupboard not getting worn. I should really give away more of them, so watch this space. It’s going to be a thing.
Anyway, about the dress.
It’s made from a relatively lightweight poly cotton and has wooden buttons, a collar and ginormous pockets. It’s tea length on me (I’m 165cm) and has a few gathers in the front and back of the skirt.
It’s an Australian size 14-16, but please go by the measurements. Mine are bust: 42 inches, waist 34 inches and hip 44 inches. Slightly smaller than these measurements will work, but not any bigger. If this sounds like you, please enter by commenting below and let me know why you need this dress. I will choose a winner in a couple of days (Australian entries only please) and post her out to you.
Thanks gang 🙂